How I Potty Trained Our Son With Reward Charts
Updated: Sep 14, 2022
A mother's guide to ditching the diapers.
Potty Training…..Is the freaking worst! They say boys are harder to potty train, but shew! I didn’t think it would be this hard! We have been trying to get our toddler on board for a few years now and nothing has worked. One day the daycare asked us if we wanted to bring in Pull-Ups and sign the Potty Training Agreement. Umm. What?! He hasn’t shown interest at home?! He refuses to use the potty!He apparently just wants to be potty trained at school. We had to get him on the same page at home. $60 for a box of diapers…No thank you!
We tried EVERYTHING!
- Straight To Underwear - FAIL!
- M&Ms - FAIL!
- Cheerios In The Toilet - FAIL!
- Four Different Potty Seats - FAIL!
- Peeing In The Wild - FAIL!
- Telling him, “Daddy has to work extra hours to buy your diapers” (He really was working super long hours due to short staffing) - FAIL!
- Commando - EPIC FAIL!
I’ve cried enough tears to fill that mini toilet that makes a flushing sound and is collecting dust ten times over. At this point I’m convinced my child is going to live in diapers forever!
Then I got an idea! POTTY CHARTS! Does bribery work for kids? Yes, it does. And very well.
My first potty chart was a hot mess. I was desperate and rushing to make it before picking him up from school. I was also working with two dead sharpies...
My second Thomas the Train potty chart was…meh. The art looked like a child created it, but he didn't care. It also could have used more spaces. He filled this one up in no time!
But my third (Firetruck potty chart,) fourth (Toy Story potty chart,) and fifth (Baby Shark potty chart)…. Soooo much better! I think I had more fun creating these than he did putting stickers on them.... Yes, that is a toilet that's on fire....
These potty charts worked like a CHARM!
How Do Potty Charts Work?
- Each time your little one goes potty, they get a sticker to fill a space
- After 5 stickers, they get to pick a prize from the bin (more on this below)
- Once they fill the entire chart, you can let them pick a big reward (ideas below)
What Do You Give As A Reward For Going Potty?
1. For every 5 stickers. This bucket consists of small candies (mostly from Easter, Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day 😂), small $1 toys, bounce balls, necklaces, slap bracelets. His favorite is “2 of chocolate” (mini 2 bar Kit-Kats). So I have to keep it stocked with those.
2. PooPoo Bucket - When he goes #2 in the potty - This bin has bigger prizes. Larger toys, character merch (towels, water bottles, etc,) 5 of chocolates (of course the full size Kit-Kat), the annoying Baby Shark fan he had to have from Cracker Barrel….*Insert eye roll and regret here*
Once the chart has been filled with stickers, you can let your little one pick a big reward. Some ideas are:
- Take them to the store to pick out their own prize (within reason) This can be Target, Walmart, Dollar Store, anywhere really
- Ice Cream
- Take them to do one of their favorite activities (Discovery Museums, Zoo, Indoor Play Centers, Roller Skating, Water Park, Mini Golf, Go Karts....the list goes on)
They will be rushing to get their next prize!
Story about that Baby Shark Fan- He saw this fan in Cracker Barrel that he had to have. I mean, it plays the Baby Shark song on repeat. What parent doesn’t want that to come home with them? Anyway, our table was ready and we had to pull him away from the display kicking and screaming. We get to our table and he keeps fanning himself saying, “shew. I’m hot! I need a fan!” “Mommy!!! I said I need a fan. I’m hot!” As he continues to fan himself with his hand....He’s THREE! Finally, we distracted him with that novelty germ infested peg game they have on every table and he was no longer "hot." After we were done eating, Matt took the boys to the car and I grabbed it to add to his poopoo bucket. Boy... could he poop then!
Every kid is different and what worked for us, may not work for you. But, it doesn't hurt to try. If it fails, at least you’ll already have some stocking stuffers at Christmas. 🤷🏻♀️
Do you have a great potty training tip? Leave it below in the comments!